This week, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum opened a new exhibition dedicated to the works of Anders Zorn, a Scandinavian artist whose skillful impressionist portraiture won him celebrity status during the Belle Epoque in Paris.
The gallery was just phenomenal, but I’m a sucker for impressionism, especially when its framed by shiny gold and hung on deep blue walls.
Each wall of this high-ceilinged cube was given allotted works from a different section of Zorn’s life, and even though the women looked like goddesses in the high society portraits, my favorite wall was the “In the Studio.”
In Zorn’s “Self-Portrait,” his face looks out past the frame, placed kitty-corner to a bust’s face staring past him the same way. His whiskers are long and balance out a wide forehead that crouches over small eyes with a very serious look in them.
Hanging next to this work sits another painting incorporating sculpture – here creating soft blurry contrast with the model undressing. “In Wikstrom’s Studio,” her smooth figure stands behind a large gray leg and before a headless white nude sculpture facing the light and leaning back, his shoulders still suppoted by a brace. The warm light shines across all three figures: sculpture, model, sculpture with red hair glowing.